Do you ever look at someone and think…
“Man, they have it all”
“If I had their life all my problems would disappear”
“She has got it ALL figured out”
What about taking it the other direction…
“What the heck is her problem”
“Why is she so rude”
“Why does she feel the need to *fill in the blank”
You have heard this before, but I am going to say it again. You never know what is going on in someone’s life behind closed doors. You never know what news they just got on the phone. What email just left them speechless. What their parents treated them like as children.
Here’s where this gets real for me. I have a story. It’s something I don’t talk about often, but I would be remis to not share that it is part of what makes me who I am today.
I have 2 siblings, an older brother and a younger sister. When I was 15, my brother entered into what would be his first of over 20 psychotic breaks. It took a series of 11 years, countless hospital stays, and situations that you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy for him to finally be diagnosed and medicated properly with Schizoaffective Disorder.
Schizoaffective Disorder is defined by Wikipedia as a diagnosis where “the person has features of both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.”
He has an incredible story to tell of his journey. One that I hope he gets to share with the world someday. But his story isn’t my story. My story is how those years shaped me.
By 18 the hurt was so deep rooted in me, watching someone I loved so much suffer and not get better, that I developed “situational depression and anxiety.” At 33, I still suffer with the same symptoms, so it can no longer be called “situational”.
I have depression and anxiety.
How these conditions manifest is unique to each person. For me, my body basically revolted. I didn’t want to feel sad, and couldn’t really feel happy, so I decided not to feel. Well, let me tell you sister, your body doesn’t work like that. I spent months not eating dinner because every night I sat in the bathroom doubled over in pain. I developed insomnia and debilitating migraines. Our bodies can do pretty insane things.
Realizing that I was not anywhere near getting better on my own, I sought medical attention. I was then placed on Lexapro, an anti-depressant medication, that I have been on ever since. And guess what? I am not ashamed. It is what makes me, me. I am not defined by a pill in my hand.
So here I am with no filter. Saying this…
I love “So You’re a Hairstylist” and the amazing, AMAZING community I am getting to be a part of. But I would be remis to not let you in on some of my why.
This is me.
This is why I am so passionate about taking care of yourself.
This is why I love to laugh, because in some of my darkest moment’s laughter kept me alive.
Little known fact, this is also part of why I love coffee so much. Coffee became a huge bond between my brother and I when he got sick. When he wasn’t making sense and when I saw him slipping, a trip to Starbucks would lift our spirits for a few moments.
This is why I am DESPERATE for you to live to your full potential. Because I have seen one of the most brilliant souls I know have his life be forever changed in a moment.
You have the most incredible opportunity to be a support and sounding board to those who sit in your chair. To lift up the stylists you work with. To be a light to everyone who comes in your path.
If you try to look at each person you come in contact with through a non-filtered lens, your communication with that individual will immediately be transported to a new level.
Thank you. Thank you for letting me share a piece of my story with you. Thank you for being a part of this journey with me.